On Love

I run the risk of making myself out to be a bitter, petty spectacle, but hey-that beats dealing with feelings in a self-destructive manner. If this doesn’t work, my plan B is to consume a lot of cadbury eggs and then poke at my chubby self in the mirror for an hour.

(side note: Easter has way better candy options than Valentine’s day. Mini Cadbury Eggs > those Sweetheart candies.)

(side note to the side note: the aforementioned side note is not a plug for one holiday over another. All holidays are created equal. But the ones that feature Cadbury Mini Eggs are slightly more equal.)

Contrary to popular belief, I actually love Valentine’s Day, despite my lack of a “significant other.” I hate when people are like “We shouldn’t need holidays to make sure our loved ones feel loved! We should make them feel that way every day!” Frankly, we (I’m speaking for the general public) don’t have time or the funds EVERY DAY to wake our loved ones to heart-shaped pancakes and present them with thoughtful cards that we totally didn’t just barely scribble on in the car before thrusting it in our loved one’s face. We knew it was a Special Day, okay? Our handwriting is always that shaky and illegible. You know what? I’ll just read it to you.

My point is, Valentine’s Day is fun. It’s a day we can plan ahead for (but probably won’t) and take time out of our hellish schedules to really connect with our significant others and remind them that we love them even though we are so busy and so tired all of the time from being adults 24/7. It’s unifying and comforting-knowing that millions of couples are displaying their affection for their loved ones at the same time because there’s always room for more affection. It’s beautiful and cheesy and mushy and gushy and pathetic and I LOVE IT.

No, I’ve never had a “Valentine.” I’ve just coincidentally never been in a relationship on February 14th over the past 22 years of my life. What of it?

And no, I’m not even the slightest bit sad, bitter, or petty about it. I’M NOT, STOP GIVING ME THAT LOOK.

I mean, I’ll admit-I did my share of comparing my single life to the coupled individuals roaming the mall, arm-in-arm, as I loitered around solitarily, hoping to find a little something to treat mah-self today. Luckily for my wallet, I didn’t find anything. I must admit, for just a moment, I felt a bit sad-recognizing that all these couples were compiled of individuals that have found somebody that (presumably) understands them and loves them and is willing to work through each others’ problems and differences and I applaud that! Because it’s not easy to do. My record of tolerating a boyfriend is like 6 months sooooo I’m not saying I’m a quitter, but if the shoe fits?

Anyway, I’m not one of those bitterly single people who are going to spend their evening wallowing with a bottle of wine and a chick flick tonight. (But if you are-more power to ya! You be the best wallower you can be. Wallowing feels GOOD.) I’m really comfortable with being by myself. And I acknowledge that human relationships just haven’t been a priority for me up to this point in my life. I have so many priorities that I can’t possibly squeeze any more in! And for that, I must suffer the consequences-which include a lame Valentine’s Day.

Reading back through this post, I have no idea what my point was, and you probably don’t either. All I know is that I was feeling a little melancholy on my way home from the mall earlier but that is no longer the case. I’m off to eat some Mini Cadbury Eggs.

Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all.

M.

 

 

 

 

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Didactic

Two evenings ago, I terminated my relationship with a boy I spent the better part of 2016 with.

I see you, behind your computer screen, rolling your eyes in annoyance, expecting a lengthy rant of a post authored by a dramatic and heartbroken twenty-something. Well calm down, Nancy. (As my ex would say). I’m not THAT predictable.

I had my reasons for cutting ties, but just a week before I did this, I was thoroughly convinced that he was “the one.”

It took four days of separation from him for me to finally admit that our relationship was far from healthy. Don’t get me wrong, our good times were good. And I miss when things were good, a lot. But at what cost? Because our bad times, well, they were BAD.

During these four days that I had minimal involvement in our courtship, I came to realize that I was losing myself by trying to make things work with him. He has a very dominant personality, and I am vulnerable, and admittedly a little naive, despite my fiery ambition and feminist mindset. If I continued to be with him, eventually that flame would be extinguished, and I would be stuck. The things that it took to make him happy hurt me, and up until that point, I thought that for some reason, I owed it to him.

He liked to play mind games with me, and get me really riled up “just to see how I’d react.” He’d check out hot chicks in the supermarket parking lot for 2+ minutes, while I exasperatedly waited for him to get in my car. He’d tell me that I was naive and assumed that he always knew better.

These were painful things to experience from someone who had countlessly claimed that he loved me.

The breakup was painful, and despite how hard things were when I was with him, adjusting to being alone again has been nothing short of difficult. But I have purged myself of material representations of our relationship, and am ready for a fresh start.

“Everything happens for a reason” was one of his most frequently employed mantras. Though I was never completely convinced that this is the case, I do believe that breaking things off with him inevitably needed to happen. It took this entire experience for me to re-focus on what I want for myself and my life, and I now feel empowered to dive head-first into exactly the life that I want for myself, with or without a significant other.

I’m one of the lucky ones with a kick-ass support system that has been there for me unconditionally, and has done everything they can to ensure my wellbeing, and for that I am extremely grateful.

I’ve learned from him that I am strong and powerful and in control of myself. I am the only one who knows what’s best for me. And the only people who belong in my life are the ones who make me feel empowered. And that, my friends, is something that I require.

So that’s where I’m at.

M.

 

A Tender Termination

You know what they say, all good things must come to an end. 

Including summer flings. 

I had one, this past summer. I know, ME. Someone voluntarily signed himself up to date my crazy ass for a month or two. 

We started out strong, going on well-planned, well-structured, yet financially conscious dates. That lasted for approximately a fortnight, when he requested that we both begin exclusively only dating one another and nobody else. From that point on through last night, I was somebody’s girlfriend. 

We all know how these things go. Gradually, the structured dates morphed into casual hangouts and late-night lounging on each others’ couches. The closest thing we’d have to a date was a run to 7-11 for a Slurpee. (He funded the Slurpee runs, so I let this continue for a while.)

The casual hangouts tapered down in frequency, as did the communication between boy and me. For a span of another fortnight, we’d hardly even texted at all. I knew this fling had come to a close because I did not miss this young man. Heck, I’d hardly even noticed his absence.

Over the course of the past two weeks, I’d been worrying myself sick trying to script a gentle, yet straight-forward way to terminate our contract of exclusionary courtship. You see, I struggle with confrontation. My preferred method of communication is written, which is exactly what I intended to do. 

My break-up plan was to write boy a letter that gracefully terminated our friendship and also notified him of why my feelings for him had ceased. I would then place said letter on his doorstep along with his damn glasses that he always leaves in my car, and that would be that with that. 

Regardless of my preferred, passive method of ending this fling, we had the dreaded “talk” last evening. 

Boy requested that we go to our “spot” to talk, so I drove (as I always do because boy doesn’t have an automobile) to the capital building, temporarily renamed “our spot,” so we could discuss the future of us. Please note that aforementioned spot is 30+ miles from my home. 

Long story short, boy asked me to practically analyze the current status of our relationship, and based on my analysis, present to him what my thoughts were regarding our future together. It was basically the most emotionless breakup in the history of forever. 

After I expressed how I no longer had feelings for him and that I was fine with us being through, he concurred, and then told me (in not so many words) that it is practically impossible for him to have a deep conversation with me and that he would rather be alone with me. 

After “the talk,” it was my burden to drive boy from our former “spot” back to his apartment. The air was awkward, stifling, and tense the entire 3.4 minute drive back to his place. 

Before emerging from my Camry, he turned to me and said, “You know you’re great, right?” 

To which I responded, “Yes, boy, I do know that I am great. I don’t need yours or anyone’s reassurance.”  AND THEN HE LEFT HIS GLASSES IN MY CAR AGAIN. 

I am relieved to have formally ended this fling with boy, but I am flustered that he would think that I would be so emotionally affected by our parting ways. 

I simply don’t give a profanity. It doesn’t hurt to hear that he’d lost interest in me, when my feelings for him had ceased weeks ago. I promise, i’ll be fine without his presence in my life. And no, my self-esteem has not been tainted with the termination of our little fling. 

Because, you see, not only am I free of worrying about hurting someone’s feelings that i’d lost interest in, but I will save 15% or more on gas by switching to a boy who can drive at least half the time. 

And he can take the bus to my hometown and come pick up his spectacles himself, gosh dang it. 

Someone write a book on how to properly break up with people, cuz clearly young adults as a whole aren’t getting it. 

M. 

Undamaged

Some lessons are best taught by 9-year-olds. 

I have the pleasure of playing “mommy” this weekend while my parents are basking in the Floridan sun. One of my parental duties is to get my baby sister ready for school in the morning. It was her third grade class elections yesterday, so I insisted that she get up early so that I’d have time to curl her hair so she could “look the part” while delivering her campaign speech. (Aren’t third graders a little young to be having a student government? Like what are their issues? Broken crayons?) 

Anyway, after forcefully removing her from her bed and dragging her downstairs into my bedchamber, I sat her down in front of my mirror and began taming her bed-head. 

Twenty minutes later, after i’d finished curling her hair, I told her how pretty she was. She responded perfectly. 

“I know.” 

When was the last time you responded to a compliment like that? Can’t remember? Me neither. 

This feisty, little 9-year-old has yet to have her self esteem torn down, ripped to shreds, and irreversibly damaged, despite the toxic environment around her. She doesn’t compare her outward appearance to the girl next to her. She doesn’t look at covers of magazines and think “man, I wish I looked like her.” And you better believe I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure that her self-esteem stays untouched. 

How beautiful would that be, if we were all able to have the same confidence as my baby sister? To be able to sincerely accept and believe a compliment. To have an unchanging perception of ourselves, and to love that perception in its entirety. 

I can honestly tell you that I have no idea what that would be like. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t refute a compliment from a stranger, or gaze in the mirror with an attitude of disapproval. 

And also, why is it so frowned upon to accept a compliment? If someone were to tell me I had beautiful eyes, and I were to respond with “I know,” the complimenter would think of me as an arrogant, stuck-up snot. But I say, what’s wrong with expressing that you like something about yourself? I mean, definitely, moderation in all things, but in my personal opinion, there is nothing wrong with agreeing with someone when they tell you they like something about you. 

It’s okay to love yourself. In fact, it’s crucial. 

M.